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Things to know on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated annually on 3 December around the world.

The theme for this year’s International Day is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”. This theme notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.

Today, the world population is over 7 billion people. More than one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. 80 per cent live in developing countries.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes that the existence of barriers constitutes a central component of disability.

Under the Convention, disability is an evolving concept that “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

Facts & Figures

7 billion people: world population

Over 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability, that’s 1 in 7

More than 100 million disabled persons are children

Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children

80% of all people with disabilities live in a developing country

50% of disabled persons cannot afford health care

153 countries signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

What is Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities are fundamental rights recognized by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and are not only objectives, but also pre-requisites for the enjoyment of other rights.

The Convention (Article 9, accessibility) seeks to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life and development.

It calls upon States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all aspects of society, on an equal basis with others, as well as to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility.





Helen Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.

The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.



Born on 8 January 1942 (300 years after the death of Galileo) in England, Stephen William Hawking as diagnosed with ALS, a form of Motor Neurone Disease, shortly after his 21st birthday.

In spite of being wheelchair bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication Stephen Hawking continues to amaze the world with his research into theoretical physics together with an extensive programme of travel and public lectures.

Stephen Hawking has worked on the basic laws which govern the universe. With Roger Penrose he showed that Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity implied space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes. These results indicated that it was necessary to unify General Relativity with Quantum Theory, the other great Scientific development of the first half of the 20th Century.

Professor Hawking has twelve honorary degrees. He was awarded the CBE in 1982, and was made a Companion of Honour in 1989. He is the recipient of many awards, medals and prizes, is a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.



Pakistan’s Muniba Mazari  was BBC’s one the 100 influential women from the world this year. She’s a motivational speaker and has been recently nominated as the very first Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women Pakistan.

She uses a wheelchair due to injuries sustained in a car accident at the age of 21 .

A dreamer, Ms Mazari chose art as a way to break free from the fetters of her physical disability and transcend into the vibrant world of her dreams. Her paintings are not merely paintings, they depict her life story.

She is Asia’s first wheelchair bound television host who works as an anchor person for National TV of Pakistan.



Suffering from Down Syndrome, Farah Vohra has been a part of Special Olympics Pakistan for more than 10 years.

She had completed her studies from a special school and worked as an assistant teacher there for two years. She participated in the Special Olympics World Games in Athens in 2011 and was selected as a torch-bearer for the Asia Pacific region.








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